A state law enforcement officer, apparently without the knowledge of his own agency, purchased malware that can intercept social media messages, emails, and much more.
Although it’s unclear why the investigator bought the malware, which requires physical access to a smartphone to install, this is the first known case of a US state law enforcement officer purchasing such a tool. In a similar way to how surveillance technology such as Stingrays has trickled down to local agencies, the news highlights how spying software is not limited to federal agencies such as the FBI or DEA, but has spread, in some form, to more regional forces.Read more
OnePlus has announced that up to 40,000 customers were affected by the security breach that caused the company shut down credit card payments for its online store earlier this week.
The information is the result of an ongoing investigation with a third-party security agency into the breach that caused customers’ credit card information to be stolen while they were purchasing OnePlus products. Though reports of stolen credit card information and fraudulent purchases were only made in the past week, OnePlus says that the script that stole the data had been running on one of its payment processing servers since mid-November.Read more
There’s more misery ahead for Huawei, which just saw AT&T pull out of a deal to carry its first smartphone, and fellow Chinese tech firm ZTE.
The duo are well known for their growing smartphone businesses worldwide, but it is their more established telecom networking and equipment units that are again under fire in Washington. A new bill introduced to Congress proposes a ban preventing branches of the U.S. government from working with service providers that use any equipment from either company for security reasons. The bill is sponsored by Texas-based Republican Michael Conaway, who is leading the investigation into Russia’s alleged election interference.Read more
In 2013, Edward Snowden revealed that the National Security Agency was legally collecting millions of Americans’ phone calls and electronic communications—including emails, Facebook messages, and browsing histories—without a warrant.
Congress has now decided not only to reauthorize these programs, but also to expand some of their most invasive techniques. The spying initiatives Snowden brought to light are authorized under Section 702 of the 2008 FISA Amendments Act, which was set to expire later this month. On Thursday, Congress voted down an effort to reform Section 702, and instead passed a bill that expanded warrantless surveillance.Read more
Moscow-based security software maker Kaspersky Lab said on Monday it has asked a U.S. federal court to overturn a Trump administration ban on use of its products in government networks, saying the move deprived the company of due process.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in September issued a directive ordering civilian government agencies to remove Kaspersky software from their networks within 90 days. It came amid mounting concern among U.S. officials that the software could enable Russian espionage and threaten national security.Read more
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission voted along party lines on Thursday to repeal landmark 2015 rules aimed at ensuring a free and open internet, setting up a court fight over a move that could recast the digital landscape.
The approval of FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s proposal in a 3-2 vote marked a victory for internet service providers such as AT&T Inc, Comcast Corp and Verizon Communications Inc and hands them power over what content consumers can access. It also is the biggest win for Pai in his sweeping effort to undo many telecommunications regulations since taking over at the agency in January.Read more
The Trump administration has decided that the National Security Agency and the F.B.I. can lawfully keep operating their warrantless surveillance program even if Congress fails to extend the law authorizing it before an expiration date of New Year’s Eve.
National security officials have implored Congress for the past year and a half to extend the legal basis for the program, Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act. They portrayed such a bill as the “top legislative priority” for keeping the country safe. But with Congress focused on passing a major tax cut and divided over what changes, if any, to make to the surveillance program, lawmakers may miss that deadline.Read more
The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged Canadian crypto company PlexCorp with violating securities laws by selling up to $15 million in an initial coin offering (ICO).
ICOs have seen explosive growth over the past year as fledgling companies have used them to raise more than $3 billion in capital through various cryptocurrencies. However, experts have warned they can present several dangers to unsuspecting investors hoping to get into a hot new market as regulations are pretty loose. Called PlexCoins, PlexCorp allegedly used this cryptocurrency to scam would-be investors hoping to cash in early on the company’s growth.Read more
Top Democrats on the Senate Commerce Committee are renewing efforts to pass a law requiring companies to quickly notify consumers in the wake of a data breach.
The bill, known as the Data Security and Breach Notification Act, seeks to implement nationwide breach notification standards and replace the confusing patchwork of state laws currently in place. If signed into law, the bill as is would impose new penalties on anyone convicted of “intentionally and willfully” concealing a data breach, including fines and up to five years imprisonment, or both.Read more
D.J.I., the popular drone maker, stands as a symbol of China’s growing technology prowess. Its propeller-powered machines dominate global markets and buzz regularly over beaches, cityscapes at sunset and increasingly, power plants and government installations.
Now D.J.I. is fighting a claim by one United States government office that its commercial drones and software may be sending sensitive information about American infrastructure back to China, in the latest clash over the power of data in the growing technological rivalry between the two countries.Read more